Chapter 25 - Emmalyn
Emmalyn sat in the beautiful bedroom her mother had whisked her away to and wiped the tears from her eyes.
“I’ve just come home and I’m ruining everything,” Emmalyn sobbed. “It feels like I’ve waited my whole life for this moment. I wanted it to be perfect.”
“And it is,” her mother assured her. “It’s definitely perfect.”
Her mother raised her hand and brushed away her tears. Emmalyn couldn’t help leaning into the touch and closing her eyes.
“You’ve been here for only a couple hours and already you have things you want my help with. It makes my heart swell to be able to sit here with you and help you work through this. My daughter needs me,” her mother gushed, as she wiped at her own eyes.
Emmalyn grinned at the way her mother easily twisted it around to benefit her. She could feel the truth to her words though. It was more than clear her mother was extremely happy right now.
“Why did you want Mathias to make me believe you both were dead?” Emmalyn asked, wanting to hear her mother’s side.
“Because people in other worlds are different from us. We knew they would label you as strange if you started sprouting things about your home world. No one would believe you. We wanted you to fit in,” her mother admitted.
“But even thinking I came from that world I still never fit in,” Emmalyn explained. “My eyes were different, I acted oddly, and I had a huge bald man as my guardian.”
Her mother chuckled at her description of Mathias. “He would stand out,” she agreed. “But we trusted him, and he could handle anyone that threatened you.”
Emmalyn nodded, understanding why he was chosen. “Kell lied to me,” she whispered, bringing the conversation back around to the reason they were in the room.
“No honey, he didn’t,” her mother denied. “He omitted things that would have shocked you. Things that you might not have understood. He needed your trust, and if he would have told you about them, you would have thought him crazy. People in your world thought you crazy because you were different, do you not think it would be the same here for him?”
Emmalyn frowned, surprised at how her mother had justified Kell’s actions. And it made complete sense to her now that she saw it from his eyes.
“But what of Seraphine?” Emmalyn demanded. “It sounded like he was already to marry her.”
“That was the councilman twisting things to hurt you. Kell has elemental power, you know that now,” her mother pressed. When Emmalyn nodded she continued. “Our Kingdoms do not get along. We argue, we battle for territory, and we each consider our own Kingdom the best.”
“But why?” Emmalyn questioned as she scooted up the bed and leaned against the headboard. Her mother moved further on the bed as well and studied her.
“Do you not have fighting and wars in your world?” her mother pushed. “Do people not argue and hurt each other?”
“They do,” Emmalyn agreed. “But we have officers to keep order in our cities and an organization called the United Nations to take care of international problems.”
“Right, and our guards act as our police, if I am understanding your meaning right. The council takes care of our realm’s problems. Kell is above all. He has the final say in all matters, meaning the final ruling is his alone.”
“What does this have to do with Seraphine?” Emmalyn asked, not understanding why her mother was explaining all this.
“Kell’s elemental powers keep the peace. He wields them and people stop fighting and take heed. But things are escalating, and Kell needs to marry to strengthen those powers. With you gone Seraphine was his only choice.” Her mother looked her in the eye and took her hands. “Kell refused. He told all the royals and council members he would never marry her. It was then we revealed you were still alive. And, it was Kell’s decision to go himself and retrieve you,” her mother declared. “He wanted to see for himself if you were affected by your upbringing on a different world.”
“But I was,” Emmalyn replied. “I am nothing like you.”
“Which is why he loves you,” her mother interrupted before she could say more. “He needs someone exactly like you by his side. He explained you were meant to be together, and I believe him.”
“We have the same eyes, I fight by his side, and we both felt the connection when we met,” Emmalyn admitted. “But he has elemental powers, and it is my understanding the no one else has any powers.”
“No one but you,” her mother grinned, causing Emmalyn to gasp.
“I don’t have powers,” she denied in confusion.
“Did you have any pets of any kind growing up?” her mother questioned with a raised brow.
“No, we lived in an apartment that didn’t allow pets,” Emmalyn answered, still not understanding.
“Because your father made it clear, you were never to have any,” her mother grinned. “And how did you get around that?”
Emmalyn blushed as she thought about what she did for a living back home. “I worked in an animal shelter. Mathias didn’t like it, but I didn’t care.”
“Uh huh,” her mother chuckled. “And how did it go with the animals? Did you work with the cute animals that were easy to handle?”
“No,” Emmalyn laughed. “I worked with the ones that were extremely difficult. The ones that no one else could handle.”
“But you could?” her mother pushed. “How?”
“I don’t know,” Emmalyn shrugged. “I soothed them and talked softly to them.”
“Because you can communicate with animals,” her mother cheerfully announced. Emmalyn’s mouth dropped open in surprise. She had no words. “Think of a cat,” her mother encouraged. “Think of it in your mind and try to call it to you.”
Emmalyn thought it was ridiculous, but she closed her eyes and thought of a small furry cat. She pictured it running up the marble steps in the grand entrance and padding down the hall to her room. When she eventually opening her eyes, a tawny kitten was standing in her doorway and watching her curiously. It shook its head, darted across the room, and leaped up on the bed so it could curl up on her lap.
“I can talk to animals and call them to me,” Emmalyn whispered in awe, as she stroked the soft fur on the animals head.
“You and Kell have more in common than even you realize honey,” her mother laughed. Then she sobered and rested her palm on Emmalyn’s cheek. “Think things through carefully and think with your heart. Your heart knows better than your head.” Then her mom kissed her forehead and moved off the bed. “Get some sleep my beautiful girl. Things will be clearer in the morning.”
Emmalyn watched her leave and remained silent. She knew she was being hard on Kell, but everything was just so confusing. Just as her mother disappeared from sight, her father came bustling in. He grinned at her, then moved to the balcony doors and threw them open.
“It’s a beautiful night,” he declared with a ridiculous amount of enthusiasm. “You need to let the fresh air in. I always find I sleep better with the breeze drifting around me.”
Emmalyn eyed the open doors warily. “But someone is after me, isn’t it dangerous to do that?”
Her father threw back his head and laughed. “You honestly think Kell would let anything happen to you?” he questioned.
“But he left,” Emmalyn reminded him. “I told him to go.”
“And you believe he did so?” he asked with a smirk. “That man didn’t go anywhere, he’s camped in the woods.” Then before she could argue he kissed her head, gave the kittens head a scratch, and strode out.
Emmalyn stared at the doors that had closed behind him, then looked to the open balcony. She was mad at Kell, but she was secretly pleased he had stayed. She figured a good nights sleep would do her some good, so she curled up in the soft sheets, and smiled as the kitten snuggled into the crock of her bent legs.
Emmalyn lay there for hours, frustrated when sleep wouldn’t come. Her thoughts were everywhere, and she couldn’t get them to slow enough to drift off. She was exhausted, and that only made the lack of sleep worse. Then she heard a loud snapping sound outside the balcony doors. Sitting up in bed she peered into the darkness and noticed a large tree was tipping towards her. It was literally bending over like in a cartoon and moving towards her balcony. She wanted to scream, but it wouldn’t come. Emmalyn froze with terror. When it reached the balcony and rested on the railing she stared at it.
Kell effortlessly jumped from its limbs, shocking her. He turned and thanked the tree, then sauntered in, closing the balcony doors behind him. Emmalyn had no words. She stared at him as he crossed the room, slipped off his shirt and boots, and climbed into bed beside her.
“I can’t sleep in that tree,” he complained. “The damn thing is uncomfortable. And it’s even worse with you not by my side. We’ve slept beside each other for over a week, I’m spoiled now.” Then he pulled the covers up, grabbed her around the waist and hauled her across his chest.
“You were sleeping in a tree?” Emmalyn stupidly asked, knowing there were much more important questions, but not being able to think of a single one.
“How else am I going to keep you safe? I need to see you to do that,” Kell snickered.
“How did you know which room I was in?” Emmalyn pushed with a frown.
“A little birdie helped me,” Kell chuckled as he pushed on her head, forcing it against his shoulder.
“I think it was a big birdie wearing a crown,” she huffed, as she remembered her fathers exaggerated enthusiasm.
Kell pretended he didn’t hear her and closed his eyes. “Go to sleep my wee warrior,” he affectionately ordered. “You can go back to being mad at me again in the morning.”
Emmalyn fumed for only a minute before sighing. She was actually relieved he was with her. She felt safest with him and was finding it difficult to sleep without him as well. Giving in, she wrapped one of her arms around his waist and stuck the other one under the pillow. Then she wiggled even closer before finally closing her eyes. She didn’t want to let him off the hook so easily, but she agreed their fight could wait until morning. Kell tenderly kissed her head when he felt her give in.
“Missed you too my love,” he whispered, before his body relaxed into sleep.
Emmalyn smiled, but refused to say it back. She was still made at him after all.